“Whodunits don’t come much funnier… Fans of offbeat comic mysteries will be richly rewarded.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Georgia Thackery is feeling pretty good about her summer job teaching at prestigious Overfeld College, and she’s renting a rustic cabin right by a lake for herself, her daughter, Madison, and her best friend, Sid the Skeleton. Together again, the trio are enjoying the quiet when a teenager named Jen shows up looking for her friend. Georgia doesn’t recognize the name, but she learns that the person Jen was looking for is actually Sid.
Sid reveals that he and Jen are part of a regular online gaming group that formed locally, and one of their members has gone missing. Sid admits that he might have bragged about his investigative prowess, enough so that Jen wants him to find their missing player. Given that Sid doesn’t have many friends offline—none, really, unless you count the Thackery family—Georgia agrees to help. They manage to discreetly enlist Jen, who lives in town, and follow the clues to... a dead buddy.
Now they've got a killer on their hands. Probing the life of Sid's friend, they realize a lot is wrong both on campus and in the seemingly quaint town, and someone doesn't want them looking deeper…
“You'll love the adventures of this unexpected mystery-solving duo.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Whodunits don't come much funnier than Perry's suspenseful fifth mystery featuring "an ambulatory skeleton named Sid" (after 2017's The Skeleton Paints a Picture). More than two decades earlier, Sid showed up at the home of the Thackery family and moved in, in the process becoming the best friend of Georgia Thackery, who's now an adjunct instructor at an enrichment program for high school students at New Hampshire's Overfield College. A nauseating smell coming from a college administrative office prompts Georgia and Sid to break into the office, where they find a corpse stabbed in the throat with an unusual blade. Flash back five days. Georgia and Sid get involved in a mystery that many readers will suspect is connected with their future grim discovery the disappearance of a player in an online fantasy game that Sid participates in. Georgia's travails at Overfield, which include an unpleasant encounter with a legendary, condescending pedagogue, help flesh out her character. In one humorous aside, after Sid dives into the lake outside Georgia's cabin, she comments: "Since he doesn't breathe, there's no limit to how long he can stay at the bottom of the lake; his meatless physique doesn't appeal to any fish that might swim by looking for a snack; and without skin, he doesn't have to worry about getting pruney." Perry doesn't bother to explain how Sid can walk, talk, and text, but that omission, impressively, isn't a barrier to engagement. Fans of offbeat comic mysteries will be richly rewarded.)